1 CORINTHIANS 12:13

AN EXEGESIS OF 1 CORINTHIANS 12:13.

The Greek says, GAR EN ENI PNEUMATI HEMEIS PANTES EIS EN SOMA EBAPTISTHEMEN, “For by one Spirit we all were baptized into one body.”

Daniel B. Wallace says this is an example, or “an illustration,” of preposition EN used for means (Greek Grammar Beyond Basics, 374). By means, it is the instrument used. Thus EN ENI PNEUMATI, “by one Spirit,” is dative instrumental. Thus say Strong and Robertson also.

This means that the Holy Spirit is the instrument Christ uses. The passage is parallel to Mark 1:8. PNEUMATI HAGIO in Mark 1:8 clearly indicates the Spirit as the means; and so 1 Corinthians 12:13 may not differ from it. The use of preposition BY is reasonable. “For BY one Spirit.”

Those who promote present-day Holy Spirit baptism say that EN + Dative’s only use is locative and not instrumental. They are making an exclusive rule where there is none!.

They say that in this way, in the construction EN + PNEUMATI, the Holy Spirit becomes the sphere, or the location. And yet this interpretation is not consistent with their interpretation of Eph. 5:18, where the same construction is found. EN PNEUMATI here speaks of the Spirit as the means. The idea of Paul is that the believers are to be filled by means of the Spirit.

If EN PNEUMATI in Eph. 5:18 is dative of means, and therefore instrumental, why can’t EN PNEUMATI in 1 Corinthians 12:13 be dative instrumental also?

I suspect that their insistence of interpreting 1 Corinthians 12;13 as locative is for reasons dubious and self-serving. I am just consistent. I look at both passages with the same construction as similar in meaning and therefore must be similarly interpreted.

Lastly, the verb employed in 1 Corinthians 12:13 is aorist. Aorist is referring to a past event, unrepeatable. It is not referring to a continuous progressive act..

Here is the death knell of present-day Holy Spirit baptism doctrine. 1 Corinthians 12:13 can never be used by them to prove that they must have Holy Spirit baptism today simply because 1 Corinthians 12:13 does not say so!

They will not need an aorist to prove their doctrine! They will need a present continuous verb to help them promote their doctrine!

Now, you HSB people, find me a verse in the Bible that says, “For in one Spirit we today are being baptized into one body!”

1 Corinthians 12:13 cannot help you. It has already been fulfilled!

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JOEL 2:28-32; cf. Acts 2

THE MEANING AND SCOPE (OR LIMITS) OF JOEL 2:28-32; cf. Acts 2:.
(Please have with you a Bible as you read this post.)

1) .THE FULFILLMENT OF JOEL’S PROPHECY IS SPECIFIED by Peter’s statement: “This is that” (Acts 2;16). That fulfillment however may not be considered exhaustive enough. We look at Pentecost as the beginning. As we read further we find the Holy Spirit conferred on the Samaritans, on Paul, on the household of Cornelius and others.

2) “THIS IS THAT” IS UNDERSTOOD by some as referring to the outpouring of the Spirit. And yet they admit that what the apostles experienced was “baptism.” It was outpouring and yet it was baptism? This creates some lexical anomaly of sorts, for we know from the lexicon that POURING (EKCHEO) does not mean BAPTISM (BAPTIDZO). Do not then insist that it is. The lexicons are there for a reason. It is not there to help us defy logic and reason; it is there to help us understand. Lexicographers beginning from Thayer, Bauer, Arndt, Gingrich, and Danker to a host of others have always been consistent in defining both EKCHEO and BAPTIDZO. To these people—lexicographers– these are not the same animal . Therefore you should be consistent too.

Should you insist that pouring also means baptism, you are simply saying that the denominations have been right all along! They pour water on babies and call it baptism!

3) IT IS CALLED OUTPOURING BECAUSE THE SOURCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IS HEAVEN. It is from God himself. It is God’s Spirit himself. God himself said I would pour it out. In relation to heaven, the earth is below. Therefore the word pour is consistent with logic and position and physics. The outpouring was God’s manner of sending His Spirit to men and women on earth.

4) THE MANNER OF RECEIVING THAT SPIRIT VARIED FROM ONE RECIPIENT TO ANOTHER. The apostles received it as baptism, the Samaritans received it through the laying of the apostles’ hands. In the case of the household of Cornelius, the Spirit is said to have fallen on them. In the case of the apostle Paul an ordinary disciple whom the Lord sent conferred that Spirit directly on him.

5) The POURING OUT WAS TO HAPPEN in these last days. The phrase simply refers to a specific period of time. If you think that the phrase includes our present time, the 21st century, the burden of proof lies on you. I am sure that you will have a difficulty proving that, unless you do some scripture twisting and invent some reason to justify that interpretation.

6) Methinks THE VERB “I WILL POUR OUT” DOES NOT MEAN A CONTINUOUS OUTPOURING. Why? Because the meaning and implication of the future simple tense does not demand it. Future simple in the Greek has the same sense as the aorist tense. Both speak of one time action, and never repeatable!

If you insist on your continuous-outpouring-as-baptism interpretation, let me tell it straight to your face: Grammar and lexicons are not on your side; it is on our side!

JOHN 3:3-6

ON THE MEANING AND IMPACT OF JOHN 3:3-6.

(1) JOHN 3:3 SAYS REBIRTH IS NECESSARY. Jesus answered and said to him (to Nicodemus), “Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless a man is born (γεννηθῇ, GENNETHE, begotten) again (ἄνωθεν, ANOTHEN, “from above,” “again,”“anew”), he cannot see the kingdom of God.

“Unless,” or “except,” is Christ’s blunt and curt reply that is meant to shake Nicodemus’ belief as a Jew. What makes one see the kingdom is not the physical rebirth as a Jew into a physical nation, but “rebirth from above.”

(2) THIS REBIRTH IS NOT PHYSICAL IN NATURE. The heavenly birth is not the same as being born the second time from the womb of one’s mother (3:4). “He that is born of (EK, out of, from) the flesh is flesh” (3:6).

(3) “UNLESS A MAN BE BORN AGAIN” IS A CONDITIONAL CLAUSE. The first aorist passive subjunctive verb γεννηθῇ, GENNETHE, “be born or begotten,” with ἐὰν μή, EAN ME, “unless, except,” is used as a conditional clause, where the condition is said to be possible (Rogers & Rogers, p. 184). “A conditional clause makes a statement that IF something happens, something else will happen” (Corey Keating at http://www.ntgreek.org/). If one is born “again” (first action), he can see the kingdom of God (second action) (3:3).

The kingdom mentioned here refers to God’s rule over the hearts of men, made possible only by their becoming members of the church (MATTHEW 16:18; ACTS 2:47) or citizens of the kingdom of God’s dear Son (COLOSSIANS 1:13).

The new birth is necessary because the natural man cannot enter the kingdom of heaven by any other means. The physical means of entry makes you a member of the human family. The heavenly means of entry makes you a member of the kingdom of heaven.

(4) “BORN OF WATER AND OF THE SPIRIT” DOES NOT MEAN “BAPTIZED IN WATER AND IN THE SPIRIT.” The phrase γεννηθῇ ἐξ ὕδατος, GENNETHE EX HUDATOS does not mean “baptized in water.”

Firstly, Rebirth in water, or becoming a new creature, does not happen AT the very point when the person goes INTO the water.

Secondly, Rebirth in water does not happen AT the very point when the body is IMMERSED IN water.

In ROMANS 6, Paul compares baptism to a burial (“We were buried therefore with him through baptism unto death,” v. 4; “we have become united with him in the likeness of his death,” v. 5.

In death Christ was buried, literally, and in baptism we picture our union with his death and burial in the figurative sense, “we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death,” v. 3).

The creature that remains in the grave is still the old creature, not a new creature. He is corruptible and dead, waiting to be raised to life.

The creature that is plunged into the water is not the new creature yet, until he is raised from the water.

Thirdly, Rebirth happens AFTER one rises out of the watery grave of baptism. Christ was raised from the dead a new person, possessing an incorruptible body that death could never control again. We picture that figuratively in our rising up out of the watery grave. Paul says, “like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life” (v. 4).

AFTER baptism, not DURING BAPTISM, but RISING FROM THE WATER AFTER BAPTISM we become a new person!

AFTER baptism, not during baptism, comes the newness of life!

If one argues that IN baptism we become a new person, the Bible does not teach that doctrine. We are not “buried in newness of life,” rather we “walk in newness of life,” and that happens AFTER we rise from the watery grave of baptism!

Jesus in His conversation with Nicodemus uses the phrase γεννηθῇ ἐξ ὕδατος, GENNETHE EX HUDATOS, which literally means “born from, or out of the water” (JOHN 3:5).

Taking an earthly analogy, birth does not happen when the husband and the wife sleep together. Neither does it happen when the seed of the man is planted in the womb and the foetus is formed. Rather birth happens when the baby is delivered out of the womb.

No one I suppose has been BORN IN his mother’s womb, but OUT OF IT!
So being “born of water” does not mean baptism in water; it refers to the rebirth that happens after one rises up out of the water.

“Born of the Spirit” does not mean “baptized in the Spirit” in the same way that “born of water” does not mean “baptized in water.”

(5) JOHN 3:5 TEACHES THAT THE REBIRTH IS IN TWO ASPECTS. Jesus answered (Nicodemus), “Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless a man is born of water (γεννηθῇ ἐξ ὕδατος, GENNETHE EX HUDATOS, literally “born from, or out of water,” Strong’s Hebrew & Greek Dictionaries )
and Spirit (καὶ Πνεύματος, KAI PNEUMATOS “and of the Spirit”),
he cannot (οὐ δύναται, OU DUNATAI, could not be able to, may not be able to, may not be possible for him to) enter into the kingdom of God.”

“Except one be born of water and the Spirit,” ἐὰν μή τις γεννηθῇ ἐξ ὕδατος καὶ Πνεύματος. There is no determiner (“the”) between the conjunction KAI and the noun object PNEUMATOS, “Spirit.” The determiner “the” before PNEUMATOS, “Spirit,” is supplied by the translators.

However it shares the same preposition with HUDATOS, the preposition ἐξ, EX, so “of water” and “of Spirit.” Πνεύματος, PNEUMATOS, is genitive (like ὕδατος, HUDATOS) and is translated “of Spirit.”

This speaks of one rebirth, not two. “Born of water AND [of the] Spirit.” It is a rebirth that involves both water and Spirit.

Jamieson, Fawcett and Brown says it means to “begin life anew in relation to God; his manner of thinking, feeling, and acting, with reference to spiritual things, undergoing a fundamental and permanent revolution.”

When the Lord says, “Ye must be born again (γεννηθῇ ἄνωθεν, GENNETHE ANOTHEN, “born from above”),” he does not mean you must be born with two kinds of births, or you must be born twice.

It is only one kind of rebirth, of both water and Spirit. Note the Greek phrase, γεννηθῇ ἐξ ὕδατος καὶ Πνεύματος, “born of water AND Spirit.” After one rises from the watery grave of baptism, he becomes a new creature, possessing a rebirth in two dimensions, two aspects, two qualities, two levels of reality.

When a man hears the word of the gospel and obeys it by being baptized in water, changes happen to the soul.

Firstly, there is a relationship change between him and his God; he becomes His adopted son. “And because ye are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father” (GAL 4:6; cf ACTS 5:32). ἐξαπέστειλεν, EXAPESTEILEN, sent forth, sent out, is aorist indicative active. God sent forth the Spirit of His only begotten Son into your hearts to claim you as His own adopted sons.

Secondly, there is a relationship change between the Christian and sin; he is dead to it. “God forbid. We who died to sin, how shall we any longer live therein?” (ROM 6:2; cf. 8:10).

Thirdly, there is a relationship change between the Christian and his Lord; he is a new creature in Jesus. “Wherefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: the old things are passed away; behold, they are become new” (2COR 5:17; Cf. ROM 8:10).

Fourthly, These changes set the stage for him to be fruit-bearing. “And those are they that were sown upon the good ground; such as hear the word, and accept it, and bear fruit, thirtyfold, and sixtyfold, and a hundredfold” (MAR 4:20).

You don’t know how the Spirit works in the man who has just been “born again of water and Spirit,” γεννηθῇ ἐξ ὕδατος καὶ Πνεύματος . You don’t know whence the wind comes or where it goes; you don’t know what the Spirit does to that person. You only hear the sound of the wind; you only see the action done by the man who is trying to conform himself to the image of the Son of God, in other words, as he tries to live according to the dictates of the Spirit (cf. ROMANS 8:4, 14).

The perfect participial clause καὶ τὸ γεγεννημένον ἐκ τοῦ Πνεύματος πνεῦμά ἐστι, “and the one having been born of the Spirit is spirit,” being in the perfect tense, shows that the effect of having been born in the Spirit goes on continually.

ACTS 1:4-8

First, Before you make the conclusion that the promise of Holy Spirit baptism in Acts 1:4-8 is for you too, ask yourself these questions:

1) Who was speaking? In the verses aforementioned, it was Jesus. He was personally speaking here.

2) To whom was He speaking? In the verses aforementioned, He was conversing with the apostles. He was not talking to you nor to anybody but the apostles. Before you apply these verses to yourselves, I ask you to use your common sense!

3) What did He say? “John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days hence” (Acts 1:5).

4) When did He say it? The answer is: During the first century. You were not there.

5) Where did He say it? The context implies that He was assembled with them and was explaining to them about His coming kingdom in the city of Jerusalem itself.

Christ told his apostles to wait in the city of Jerusalem not many days from the time he was speaking. He had been assembled with them for forty days, and the waiting time was over when the Pentecost day came.
If you claim a Holy Spirit baptism like apostles had, then you are claiming something that has not been promised you!

The apostles waited in Jerusalem for Pentecost, and you want some Holy Spirit baptism that involves no waiting time? If indeed you waited for your Holy Spirit baptism, where did you wait? Lepanto Mines? Baguio City? Urdaneta? Binalonan, Pangasinan? Candon, Ilocos Sur? Wrong places to do the waiting!

If you claim to have been baptized in the Holy Spirit, were there sounds of rushing mighty wind that filled the whole room where you were? Where there tongues of fire that sat on each of you? Don’t tell me that you also spoke in tongues: You could fake it!.

If you claim a Holy Spirit baptism, then you are claiming something that was not promised to any of us today. If you wish, find another promise in the Bible that is tailored specifically for you. The promise of Holy Spirit baptism has already been fulfilled! Where is the promise of HSB for you?

The defect of these HSB people is that like the denominations around them, they have not been using their common sense, their method of interpretation is below par, they don/t understand Greek, and they have no hint what the Greek grammar has been saying.

Don’t be fooled by these people, even if they call you brother!

BAL LAGUA SR.

 

He was called into the kingdom by a means that you could say was divinely providential. This is his story.

IMG_20140830_172330One day in 1980, a lady whom he called sister Rafael was buying plow parts in a store near their halohalo booth. The sun was hot and the lady went to their store to order halohalo. Mrs. Lagua, who was manning the store said they had halohalo but it lacked another ingredient. Mrs. Rafael said never mind, please give us two. And so they ate halohalo that lacked an ingredient.

And as they ate, Mrs. Rafael’s mind wandered and saw a Bible displayed on the shelf. “Have you been reading the Bible?” she asked. Mrs. Lagua said yes. “Have you been listening to any radio program?” she asked further. Again Mrs. Lagua said yes. “In fact, we have for years been listening to a program titled AWAGANNACA NI CRISTO (Christ Is Calling You). The speaker is a certain Mr. Alejandro Ciencia.”

Mrs. Rafael’s eyes brightened up. “That man is our brother in Christ! Do you have any place to go this Sunday? We would like to invite you to our home. We worship there..”

Mr. Rafael was the one conducting the study that Sunday and the next Sundays. And as brother Rafael explained about the plan of God, about the church in the Bible, and about the way of salvation, Bal Lagua Sr. said he could not help comparing what he heard with what he read in the Bible!

Flashback: For years they as a couple had been meditating on the Word. They had been looking for the church that the Bible mentions about. They had visited the iglesia NI Cristo thinking that it is the same church the Bible is talking about. But he found their doctrines about the deity of Christ inconsistent with the Bible. Bal Sr. told his wife to go ahead and join that sect and find out more. But the wife too had some doubts about the sect.

But now they were sure that they had found the true church. What brother Rafael had been saying they too compared with what they read, and they had no doubt that this is it!

And so they submitted themselves for baptism, and brother Rafael said, “I will ask brother Eugene Awingan to baptize you.” So they waited for Eugene Awingan, but he did not come. They found out later that he was sick.

Their baptism delayed, they prayed that the Lord would send a man to baptize them. Then came Nic Fulgencio who visited the Rafaels. Nic Fulgencio baptized them. (Nic is now deceased).

The Laguas had bought a piece of property from the Tabacalera lands that had been for sale to the landless tenants. Bal Lagua Sr. resigned his job as revenue clerk of Ilagan because the pay was low, and decided to try farming. With the money he received from the government, he now had capital to start with. But farming did not seem to be his lot. He never made good in it.

He decided to try his luck in Manila. And while in Mania he worshipped with the Manila Church of Christ, ministered by Felipe Cariaga. In Manila, his wife’s relatives who were INC-1914 were vent on converting him, having heard that he was now a member of the Church of Christ. A debate was arranged between Felipe Cariaga and the INC-1914 but it did not push through.

Not finding a job in Manila, Bal Lagua Sr. went back to the province. He tried his luck in logging. He bought a chain saw, and employed a chain saw operator to do the cutting of trees for him. The logs he sold to the buyers. And while he was in the mountain, he did not miss worship! He would invite his men to worship with him (they were Catholics). He had brought with him the elements of the Lord’s Supper so he could worship anywhere when Sundays come. He had befriended many because of his winning ways, and in fact had been in contact with the NPAs in the mountain whom he also sought to convert to Christ.

Years later Eusebio Tanicala came and offered him an opportunity to study the Bible at Philippine Bible College-Baguio City. Brother Tanicala found him a supporter to support his family’s needs (abut P2,000 per month). Four years later, Brother Bal Lagua Sr. finished a bachelors degree i n Bible. He said he belonged to the last batch of students before PBC was closed.

Brother Tanicala also encouraged him to start a congregation in the town of ilagan, and sought funds to buy a piece of land on which a small chapel of Ilagan church of Christ now stands.

All of Bal Lagua’s sons and daughters are Christians. His son Bhal Garcia Lagua Jr. graduated with an education degree at Sunrise Christian College. His daughter Rowena Garcia Lagua also studied in that school, and had even finished a degree in Singapore. His two other sons assist Bhal Lagua Jr in ministering to the church of Ilagan City.

The lesson is clear: God sees all hearts, and sees the hearts of those who have been seeking the truth. Who would ever think that a couple who had dropped by a store and ate halohalo would guide such a heart to His kingdom? May His name be praised!

 

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